“ORMA has changed my son’s life and trajectory beyond measure. He has always been a sweet kid, but lacked confidence, accountability, and direction. Concerned about his future, I reached out to ORMA to help instill the structure and discipline that I could not provide on my own. What I have witnessed in just one year has far exceeded my hopes. The staff at ORMA are an extended family who deeply care about the cadets. Now a JROTC officer, a strong student, and confident leader among peers, it blows my mind that Corey can’t wait to get back to school in August. The changes in my son brought about by ORMA bring tears of pride, joy, and gratitude to my eyes quite often. I literally thank God for ORMA. This school is priceless and a great asset to the community.”
-Sandra (parent), June 2019
“Coming to ORMA has helped me become more confident, strong and proud. It has truly changed my life. Supportive teachers, military instructors and coaches have all helped me realize my capabilities and achieve things I never imagined I could do.”
-Corey (student), June 2019
“ORMA was a big help to us. Our daughter’s attitude has improved tremendously. She is more respectful and is much nicer to be around. Enclosed is a gift for the academy in appreciation for the care and attention that was given our daughter, Mary Claire. Oak Ridge’s mission and philosophy did prepare Mary Claire for college and life. She will always remember the school as “home” and the faculty and staff as “family.”
-Evelyn and Ron
“We thank you so much for being such a significant, positive force in Matthew’s life this year! You taught him so much through your words and your ways. We will always remember what you did for him. Please accept this gift as a token of our appreciation. No words or gift could fully acknowledge our regard for you.”
-Nick, Jan, Rachel
“Our daughter Victoria started attending ORMA last February. In the short time she’s been at the Academy, her demeanor and confidence has improved tremendously. As parents, we are so grateful for the strong and encouraging environment ORMA provides. Please extend our thanks and gratitude to the entire ORMA staff.”
-Dave & Ann Elder
“ORMA did him a world of good with an obvious boost to his self confidence. Many people have commented on how self assured he is and how comfortable he is conversing with adults. The structure and discipline at Oak Ridge produced a better product than what we had seen. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back at Oak Ridge. I personally think that would be a good thing.”
“I will continue to recommend ORMA just as I have in the past as I think it is a great school. Feel free to have any parents of prospective students call me if they wish to talk to a parent about ORMA. Thank you.”
“I just wanted to write you a short email to let you know how wonderful your staff and faculty have been. They have all been so encouraging to our children. Winslow and Joshua are really enjoying the year so far and are so proud to be attending ORMA. It has been a different experience for them both, and it could not have gone better. We are looking forward to a great school year. We feel we made a good choice in enrolling them.”
-Lother and Anita
“It has been six months since my son, Gibbs, arrived at Oak Ridge. We had been struggling in the public school system with apathetic teachers, students that were constant behavior issues, and a kid enjoying the freedom of not having to be responsible for himself and his actions. Needless to say, it was a recipe for disaster. After receiving mid-semester grades in January that reflected 20% of his work not turned in and plummeting grades, as a result, we decided to send Gibbs to Oak Ridge. I guess I would say we were fortunate to have had two very positive summer experiences there so the transition was a little smoother for him than others.
The first two weeks he was there I was a wreck, filled with self-doubt and worrying how they were treating “my baby.” He hated being a recruit and struggled with his lowly status and the overwhelming list of memorization. However, with every day that passed, I saw a change in him. He became more confident. He started passing his recruit training and could see the light at the end of the tunnel. The day he became a cadet was thrilling for him and for me. He had done it all on his own. Usually I was the one picking up the lost pieces and pushing him through to finish whatever the task was at hand.
Oak Ridge has allowed me to let him be responsible for himself and his fate, whether that be good or bad. I think it was as hard on me to break that cord as it was on him, but thank goodness it was done before we got into a perpetual cycle of me always rescuing him.
I guess my point in all this is to thank you for giving Gibbs and us such a wonderful gift: the ability to trust in himself and to accomplish goals on his own. As we were leaving school yesterday after 8th grade graduation, I looked over and said, “Isn’t it great that school is out, and it’s the beginning of summer?” He responded that yes, it was, but that he was going to miss coming here every morning, because it was the first time in his life that he actually looked forward to getting to school. Amen!
We will look forward to August and the start of a new school year.”
“Attached is a thank you note for that absolutely phenomenal Mother’s Day Celebration. Please share it with your staff and faculty.
Also, if I can ever do anything to help the academy, please let me know. If I was wealthy, I’d love to build a new dorm for the girls or do something outstanding to show you just how much I appreciate everything that has been done for Brooks-Ann. She is the dearest thing in the world to me, but I’m so glad that I entrusted her to ORMA. It has been a wonderful experience for her. If you ever need me to talk to other moms who are thinking about sending their children there or to write a glowing letter for you, please let me know. I heartily endorse ORMA and recommend your school frequently to parents. Unfortunately, most parents can’t let go and do what is best for their child. It’s not easy, but I wish my son had gone to school at Oak Ridge, too. I can see where it would have been beneficial to him.”
“Larry and I noticed a big change in Jake in just 2 short weeks at ORMA. He stands taller, is more respectful of authority, and shows genuine concern for others. He was very polite, and we were very proud to be with him. We really feel that ORMA is going to be a great turning point in Jake’s life.”
“I noticed a great change in David’s attitude and behavior over this past Easter break. Thank you.”
“The school is doing a great job, and I want to voice my appreciation especially to you for having an open door policy and hearing my concerns. You’ve not only heard my concerns, you’ve addressed them and made changes accordingly. This is why my son attends ORMA and will do so until graduation.
Keep up the good work and again, thank you.”
“It is with great happiness that we routinely receive from Alex numerous reports of his positive attitude and success in your summer program. Alex’s phone calls have indicated that he is indeed happy at ORMA.
Most of all, I want to thank you and the entire ORMA staff for the support and encouragement you have shown Alex this summer. It is clear from the very tone in his voice that his confidence has been boosted. This was our number one goal in sending Alex to your school for the summer.
I wanted to extend my compliments to you as the commandant. Your efforts and duty are way and beyond the call of duty. Your job is the most difficult in the academy. I think your wisdom is unsurpassed as to the cadets and their psychological potential reality in this difficult world. Please forward this message to the new president. If you don’t, I will.”
“Oak Ridge is not only a learning institution; it is a place where the faculty puts forth an effort to be there for their students. They stand in, at times, as a “temporary” family to help ease being away from home. Yes, they can be harsh when needed, but I believe that that is needed to help prepare our children today for the world they will face tomorrow. Oak Ridge is also a place to grow, emotionally as well as academically. The possibilities for these cadets are endless if they just give them a chance.
The true meaning of what Oak Ridge stands for is a dying dream in America today. To teach our children well, both mentally and academically. To teach them that we go nowhere in this world alone. But rather, if we work as a team, a well-trained unit, that we can achieve our life’s goals of a better tomorrow through a safer and friendlier today. If we take the great knowledge and wisdom that have been bestowed upon us during our time at “The Ridge,” that we can do anything.
Not only did ORMA leave an everlasting mark on Aaron’s heart, but also mine and David’s. We came to think of ourselves as almost like a part of the ORMA family. And I want to personally thank you for giving me at least one year to be a large part of my son’s school year. It’s the only time that has ever happened. It will always bring a tear to my eye to think about all the times on campus with all the cadets. I can still close my eyes and hear the “bugle” calling the cadets to their places, while we wait on Aaron, I can hear the wind in “the oaks” and the “magnolias.” I can hear the clanging of the metal from the flag pole as the wind billows the stars and stripes out as it waits to be retired for the night. Seeing the cadets have a perfect formation, all dressed up and standing proud, hearing the band in the distance as it marches from alumni to the parade field.
Before I close this long rambling letter, I just want to thank you from the depth of my soul and being for the wonderful times you have etched in the memories of not only Aaron, but in David and myself.
God bless you also so much, and I hope you continue for many years to continue shaping the lives of our youth… God knows they need the help. If there is ever anything David and I can do, please let us know.”